See the IoT Nerf Gun at JavaOne

So, Mark (@mvilrokx) built a internet-connected Nerf gun, so that happened. If you read here, you’ll have seen the early stages of the build.

Heading into JavaOne (@javaoneconf), where he’ll be giving a talk, Mark wanted to build something cool to show.

Look for a technical post from him soon. The short version is that he added the ESP8266 to connect the toy to the interwebs and then rigged the internal mechanism to fire without pulling the trigger.

Here’s the evolution of the project.

Of course, lots of Vines showing the progress:

Of course, the Nerf gun needs an Amazon Echo integration because you know how much we love Alexa.

Here’s more from Mark:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all the rage these days, but what is IoT exactly and how will this affect our daily lives? The IoT Nerf gun is a whimsical example used to illustrate some of the key concepts of IoT and explain the possibilities of this exiting new technology.

We modified a standard Nerf blaster to be able to connect itself to the Internet. Once connected, the Nerf gun can be queried over the internet about its status. We can also send commands to the Nerf gun in order to launch any number of darts from anywhere in the World. The Nerf gun can also talk to other internet enabled services, like Twitter. We setup the Nerf gun to tweet every time it launches a dart; it has its own Twitter account, @IoTNerf!

These are really all just examples of what is possible once you connect a “thing” to the Internet. The Nerf gun effectively has become a service endpoint that can be reached from anywhere in the World over the Internet. As a result, it can be integrated (“mashup”) with other internet services to do whatever you want.

Want to get notified when an important email comes in from your boss by getting a foam dart in the back? No problem! Want to replace your kids’ alarms with something more . . . effective? Done! Want to get a notification from your Nerf gun every time it launches a dart? Easy!

Last week, during one of the Oracle Education Foundation’s (@ORCLCitizenship) quarterly workshops, Mark took the Nerf gun on a dry run to gauge the response.


Photo by Kellyn PotVin-Gorman, used w permission.

It went over really well, and we got some really solid questions from the Design Tech High School (@dTechHS) students in the workshop, and hey, kismet, Friend of the ‘Lab Kellyn (@dbakevlar) was a volunteer mentor.

If you’re going to JavaOne, make sure to come and test out the IoT Nerf gun in person. It will be in the MakerZone in the Java Hub. Mark will be there if you have questions, want to sign up and play the OTN Community Quest we’ll be running, or just want to hang out and talk nerdy with him.

See you there.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.